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Nike bets on mobile for first interactive, shoppable lookbook

Nike has added Nike Tech Book to its growing roster of mobile applications, with the new interactive shopping guide giving Nike+ members the ability to purchase new items before everyone else.

The new app pairs content about the design and the technology behind its products with the ability to purchase items. However, with so many Nike mobile apps now available, customers could start to get confused about which one they should download.

“It is generally unusual for a brand to have as many apps as Nike does,” said Shuli Lowy, marketing director for mobile at Ping Mobile. “While some of the apps clearly service specific customer segments there are other Nike apps which this perhaps could have been tied into.

“Creating new apps instead of adding new features to an existing app can be an inefficient way to operate,” she said. “Instead of consolidating everything into one experience the brand is required to maintain multiple teams to keep up all the apps.

“It can also make the fan base fragmented. A company should only build an additional app if it is servicing a different customer segment or if it’s required to provide a better experience.”

Interacting with innovation
Nike+ is a comprehensive program for loyal customers that includes fitness-related apps, free shipping, access to coaching and a variety of events.

Nike designed the Tech Book app to provide Nike+ members an immersive, interactive and shoppable style guide.

Using impactful photography and mobile technology, Nike hopes to give customers a more direct way to interact with the innovation behind each product as well as to explore photographs of athletes in new ways.

The Tech Book app also provides users with exclusive access to new products for a limited time. At launch, Nike’s new Tech Fleece Aeroloft collection and Flyknit Trainer Chukka SneakerBoots are available for purchase worldwide solely through the app until Nov. 5.

The app available is available for iOS and Android in 32 countries and 18 languages.

App overload
The Nike+ Tech Book joins a number of other apps available for Nike+ customers, including Nike+ Running for tracking a route, distance, pace and time and comparing this information against other runners. Nike+ Training enables users to choose from over than 100 workouts and get motivation from friends.

The app is the latest example of how Nike is innovating on mobile to connect with its customers.

This summer, Nike launched a mobile raffle system aimed at making it easier for fans to obtain limited editions of its sneakers despite problems with automated computer bot programs that attack an online store’s inventory (see story).

“Consumers need to be given a reason to come back into an app,” Ms. Lowy said. “There needs to be a sense of renewal.

“That renewal can come from new features, products, or content,” she said. “Content drives people back into an app and that leads to transaction.

“Putting out content is also about creating a closer affinity to a brand. Nike understands that the best way to get people to buy sneakers is not just to provide a pair of shoes but to serve as an indelible part of their customers running experience. Nike does that by providing helpful features, such as workout tracking or soundtracks, and running tips.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York